Tesla stock surges as EV-maker says it will 'accelerate' the launch of cheaper cars


Tesla (TSLA) stock jumped in post-market trading after the company said it would accelerate the launch of more affordable vehicles.

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025,” Tesla said in its first quarter shareholder release. These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms, and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up.

Despite Tesla reporting a revenue and earnings miss, investors seemingly cheered the a much-needed update on the EV maker’s current and future prospects as investor sentiment has slid dramatically in 2024. Tesla shares were up over 6% in after-hours trade.

For the quarter, Tesla reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.45 ($0.52 had been forecast by analysts) on top-line revenue of $21.30 billion ($22.31 billion estimated), per Bloomberg consensus estimates. It was Tesla’s first drop in revenue in four years.

On the profitability front, Tesla reported $1.2 billion ($1.49 billion estimated) in operating profit, and $1.5 billion in adjusted net income ($1.79 billion estimated ).

Tesla also showed preview images of a ridehailing feature of Tesla’s app, perhaps showing how a Tesla robotaxi could work. 

Screenshot 2024 04 23 at 4.49.11%E2%80%AFPM

In terms of delivery guidance, Tesla said it still sees “notably lower volume,” echoing what the company said in its Q4 earnings report.

Prior to Tesla’s Q1 report, shares were hit hard this year after the company reported Q4 results that disappointed, issued weak and non-specific 2024 delivery guidance, missed on Q1 deliveries, and did not refute reports of the demise of a sub-$30,000 volume EV. 

The revenue drop and profitability slide follow a weaker-than-expected quarter of sales for Tesla. In Q1, Tesla reported 386,810 global deliveries, well below estimates of 449,080, and produced 433,371 vehicles, also below estimates of 452,976.

The difference of around 46,500 vehicles produced versus sold led to concerns of demand waning globally for Tesla vehicles, which in turn has led to round after round of price cuts. On Monday, Tesla cut prices for vehicles in the U.S. and China, leading to weakness in the stock during the day.

Screenshot 2024 04 23 at 4.47.16%E2%80%AFPM

Nonetheless, Tesla confirming that the long-awaited next-generation platform would underpin a sub-$30,000 mainstream EV (dubbed the Model 2) is a huge deal for investors, many of whom had seen the low-cost EV as a volume play for Tesla, one that would use a revolutionary “unboxed” production line to make these vehicles cheaply. 

After Reuters reported that Tesla was canceling the cheaper EV, Musk responded on X, formerly Twitter, that Reuters was “lying (again)” before returning to the platform later to announce the unveiling of the robotaxi, generally understood to have no steering wheel or pedals. 

It appears both a robotaxi and cheaper EV are both on the table for Tesla.

“Our purpose-built robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary “unboxed” manufacturing strategy,” Tesla said in the earnings release.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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